Just this past week, Wikileaks revealed Hillary Clinton’s decision to avoid accepting donations in Bitcoin for her presidential campaign. This leak came on the heels of the Clinton Campaign’s announcement of an Initiative on Technology & Innovation where she used the phrase “public service blockchain applications,” in her proposal. So why would this self-proclaimed ‘pro-women’ candidate reject a technology that can and already is transforming the lives of women globally?
Also Read: Enemies of the Sharing Economy
Bitcoin Too Libertarian for Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton for President Campaign Chairman, John Podesta, received a request to add the Ven digital currency to the campaign’s donation platform.
In an email to his colleague, Podesta wrote:
“I don’t send all the crazy ideas I hear about at fundraisers your way, but this seems interesting and legit. Essentially digital currency with a green angle as opposed to bitcoin’s libertarian Ayn Rand schtick.”
Several interesting things to note. Where is Ven digital currency used that bitcoin is not? What is the market capital of Ven digital currency? Why the complete mockery of Bitcoin and its association with a solid female leader who had a strong grasp on economics?
To add insult to injury, when one reads through the full email chain, it’s clear that Podesta and the campaign were really only looking at a digital currency for political reasons. They aimed to match the more forward thinking nature of the of the Republican party and presidential candidates like Rand Paul who became the first presidential candidate to accept donations in bitcoin.
“As we discussed, Bitcoin is being used on the Republican side and could be a useful tool…”
Bitcoin Fuels Global Financial Freedom for Women
A recent Coindesk article entitled, “Making Sense of Hillary Clinton’s Bitcoin Rejection,” ground on the nerves of many in the Bitcoin community. Some key questions come to mind: Why rationalize the rejection of a FinTech innovation? Why openly believe that a candidate will support all blockchain applications when rejecting the killer application of the blockchain, Bitcoin? Why tout the interest of a candidate in technological innovation when she picks and chooses what is not too libertarian for her campaign’s liking?
One can attempt to really rationalize almost anything. However, an open refusal to proactively embrace a freedom-promoting currency should be a red flag.
What we do know is that Bitcoin truly can and has already empowered women globally. Bitcoin can enable female entrepreneurs regardless of their socioeconomic status. Women are more likely than men to be financially excluded. Upwards of 50% of women globally are financially excluded.
However, we know that Bitcoin can provide an avenue for these women to join a global economy and have greater financial access. In countries like Saudi Arabia, where women are prohibited from getting a bank account, Bitcoin is a solution. Imagine being a woman in Saudi Arabia and being forced to have a “male guardian” publicly approve of your decision to open a bank account.
With Bitcoin, a woman can get started anywhere around the world with internet connection and minimal capital. With Bitcoin ATMs on the rise, purchasing Bitcoin with cash is an even greater possibility for these marginalized and oppressed women.
So this brings us to the point — why doesn’t Hillary Clinton simply walk the walk and talk the talk and support an innovation that goes beyond including women but actually proactively supports women?
Bitcoin Is a Tool for the Public to Hold Government Officials Accountable
We can speculate the former Secretary of State’s views on Bitcoin from her Campaign Chairman’s email and additionally her public and nonprofit track record. There is the simple adage, “tell me who your friends are and I will tell you who you are.”
If Hillary is surrounding herself with top advisors who mock freedom promoting innovations, what does that show you? If we take it a step further and state something like, “tell me who is financially backing you and I will tell you what your policies are….” it can be eye opening.
We again know full well that Bitcoin provides hope and access to women in countries like Saudi Arabia, but we also know that the Clinton Foundation accepted a donation of 50 million USD from the government of Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is not the only anti-women and anti-LGBTQ country backing the Foundation.
Bitcoin is also a tool for individuals to leverage to hold the powers that be accountable. With voter fraud on the rise and often a lack of a concrete trail of how taxpayer dollars are truly spent, Bitcoin’s underlying platform of the blockchain can provide greater accountability and transparency.
Again, we also know that Hillary Clinton has struggled with following protocol that leaders and citizens alike follow in the areas of security clearances and not breaking the law by lying under oath.
So perhaps, sad but maybe true, she may not want to support a currency and a movement that can shed light on rampant corruption but also empower those who are the most vulnerable in the United States and globally.
We will leave it up to you to decide. What do you think? Why did Hillary Clinton reject accepting donations in Bitcoin? Let us know in the comments below!
Images via Pexels, Flickr, GoldSilverBitcoin, Wikimedia Commons.
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